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Sen. Chris Murphy: 'Silence In The Face Of Atrocity Equals Complicity'

This article is more than 3 years old.
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn. on Capitol Hill in Washington, Sunday, July 26, 2015. (Andrew Harnik / AP)
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn. on Capitol Hill in Washington, Sunday, July 26, 2015. (Andrew Harnik / AP)

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), a former U.S. Congressman whose House district included the town of Newtown, CT, has become an outspoken critic of American gun policy.

His statement following Sunday's historic mass shooting  accused Congress of being complicit in the attack — and he joined us today to discuss his reaction to the devastating attack.

"We know this devastation, how deep and never ending it is, having gone through it, and still going through it, in Newtown," Sen. Murphy said. "So your first emotion is grief and sorrow. But then I have this emotion if anger. I think that history does teach us that silence in the face of atrocity equals complicity. I do believe that our very intentional silence, our planful (sic) ignorance of this epidemic sends a quiet message of endorsement to individuals who become unhinged who start to contemplate mass murder. They don't see the highest level of government doing anything, even having a debate to try to stop it, from changes to gun policy, more resources for law enforcement, then I think they take the message that the highest levels of authority in their country must not care about the decision they're about to make. So I think there are practical things that we can do to make this epidemic less likely to continue but I also really worry about the message we send by just going back to business as usual this week week and debating appropriations bills rather than sitting down and talking about how we stop this from happening."

Sen. Murphy also pledged to bring his concerns to the U.S. Senate leadership this week.

"I'm going to be asking the questions of leadership — why aren't we talking this week about bringing this Congress together on an issue like making sure that individuals who are on the terrorist watch list can't buy guns?" Sen. Murphy said.

"This is not just a matter of gun policy. It's a complicated storyline. We can't deny the fact that ISIS is trying to weaponize individuals in the Western Europe and the United States who live on the fringes that might be susceptible to radicalization."

Still, Sen. Murphy reiterated his sense of restrained resignation on what he sees as the U.S. Congress' continued lack of action on gun policies he and his colleagues have proposed.

"The weapon of choice today of would-be terrorists is the assault weapon," Sen. Murphy said. "If 20 dead first graders lying on their classroom floor doesn't change this debate, than what will?"

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